Friday, November 27, 2009

Broken Heart

A few weeks ago I asked a friend to help me find a family in Temple that wouldn't be able to afford Thanksgiving and I wanted to take them their Thanksgiving meal. He put me in touch with a high school teacher who knew of a student whose family would be in need of that. His name was Justin. He lives with his mother, a step-father and a sibling. Today, Nate, me and our girls took Justin's family their Thanksgiving meal.

A few days ago, when I received their address, I recognized the name of the motel and remembered exactly which one it was. I remember driving by there many times while being in high school in Temple and for some reason, I remember it always depressed me when I thought of people living there. It's just a run down old motel.

When we pulled up today, there were several people standing around outside their doors, talking, drinking and "shooting the shit", I guess you could say. One of those people was the mother of Justin. She took us upstairs and I went through all of the grocery bags with her while Nate talked to a young teen, holding her baby.

It was a very small hotel room. There were two beds, piled full of just "stuff". There was only a small trail where you could walk through the room. On each side of the trail were just...things. Boxes, old clothes, old food, trash, groceries that had gone bad. Some of these things reached the ceiling. I proceeded to step in and show the mom what all I had gotten them for dinner. She seemed very grateful and the teenager with her son, Alex, was very sweet and talked to us for just a brief second.

We told them Happy Thanksgiving and left them to eat their meal. I'm not quite sure what came over me. I have seen poverty. I have seen poor living conditions. I am very aware that this goes on everywhere. But for some reason, I hadn't even gotten to the car before I began to sob. My heart was so broken. Broken for the family of four who live in this 400 square foot motel room in just two beds. Broken for the high school boy who has probably never been able to bring a friend "home" to play or hang out. Broken that there are children who live in those conditions. Broken at how overwhelming it becomes to try to think of how to begin to change some of that. Broken for myself who isn't satisfied sometimes with my beautiful 3 bedroom home in Central Austin. It isn't big enough, attractive enough, new enough. It needs to be painted. I need a new couch. I wish we had nicer furniture in our bedroom. My house is beautiful and today I was ashamed of myself that I ever feel anything but thankful for how God has blessed our family.

I continued to sob the whole way home. Again, I'm not completely sure why but I couldn't gain my composure. It just hit me really hard. No one really said a word the whole way home and then as we pulled up to have Thanksgiving with my family, Nate said we were going to pray for their family. He led us in prayer and I pulled myself together and we went inside.

I still haven't really gotten over it yet. I feel heavy and sad. I'm not sure exactly what all God is trying to teach me in this. Maybe it's just to be thankful...I feel it's something more.

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's the little things...

We drove into the driveway after Church and lunch yesterday and this was on our front door. Nate loves to brag about people in our community who are missional but would never brag on himself, so I'm going to.

Nate is the Director of Missional Community at Austin City Life and really teaches that being "missional" isn't only about going overseas and being a missionary but it's about being on mission in your own family, neighborhood and city. He loves to report stories back to Jonathan (ACL pastor)when he finds himself proud of someone in our city group who has touched, impacted or helped someone in the neighborhood or the city of Austin. Here are a few really cool stories he's gotten to share about people in our community who have lived out the gospel in a missional way, locally:

-We had a single mom, who doesn't go to ACL, move into our neighborhood and people from our city group reached out to her, having never met her, buying her flowers, a candle, and a cake. Nate even showed up and spent the whole day helping her move in.

-We have a girl in our group who works in a liquor store and who has connected with some of the every day regulars who come in to get their daily pint of vodka. She spent time talking with one and simply asked her her name and was kind to her. The woman showed up hours later with her pet that she wanted to show off. You could tell it made a huge impact on her that someone cared enough to talk to her about her kids and ask her what her name was.

-We have one family in our group who adopted two local children who were in the foster care system. One of the greatest examples of Christ's love for us.

-A group just did a makeover on the teen therapy room at Safeplace here in Austin. Safeplace is a local non-profit that houses women and their children who have fled from sexual and domestic violence. See the pictures here.

-A couple in our Church is hosting a garage sale and here is their blurb about it on facebook:

"Yard Sale Fundraiser benefiting Operation Turkey sponsored by Austin City Life Church, and hosted by The Nixons. Operation Turkey is an organization that provides a full Thanksgiving Meal to homeless families on Thanksgiving Day; as well as provide for many of their other needs.

Please consider cleaning out a closet, or your pantry and donating some of the items listed on the flyer. You can bring stuff over any time - DAY or NIGHT!

It will be an awesome morning as we pull together to serve the needs of our city. And please invite anyone and everyone to this event!

For info about Austin City Life (the best church ever), visit

For info about Operation Turkey, visit"

-We hosted a "neighbor night" at our house and had all of our neighbors over for pizza and beer. Since then, we have still made it a point to hang out with and love on our neighbors. In fact, one couple across the street, Bridgette and Chele, are moving and told me that when they made their "pros and cons list", we were the top thing on their pro's list. Wow...I don't think I've ever been on the top of anyone's pro's list.

-We visit this retirement home each month and spend time with the residents.

Austin City Life is all about these little things and I wish I could tell every encouraging story but there are just so many, you'd be reading until midnight.

Things like this sign just prove that showing Jesus' love in even very small ways, without an agenda, means a lot to people.

Check out this blog post written by Jonathan Dodson that tells you how to be missional in your every day life.

Here's to more Christians hanging with non-Christians.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Thanking God

I drove home from dropping Jess off at school this morning and I was overwhelmed with thankfulness. This came totally out of the blue because lately, I have been super selfish and have thought predominantly about things I don't have and feel that I need.

I paused in the car to just reflect on all of these things that were popping into my head that I was so lucky to have. My house, my car, my healthy kids, my husband, my family, my wonderful friends, my community at ACL, my dogs (sounds silly but I love them), too much food in my pantry, really great neighbors.

I began to repent for my selfishness and lack of recognition of just how great God is and how He has blessed my life.

So many times, I find that I get so caught up in "life" that I forget to stop and thank God for that "life" I'm all caught up in. I wish I could preserve mornings like this morning in a jar and open it up and pull some out on days that I don't feel so thankful.

Thank you God for my life and for the chance to live it for you.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday Mornings

Nate and I have such a tight schedule with work and non-profits and kids and school and city group that we have to be very deliberate about making time to spend together. Nate always works on his laptop at Thunderbird coffee shop at 6am, leaves and picks Jess up to take her to school at 7:15 (she likes to be there early...shocking), then goes back to Thunderbird and works until 9. On Wednesday mornings, we have a front porch coffee date instead of him going back to Thunderbird. I make a pot of coffee, he grabs the Bible and we hang out on the porch, talking, reading and praying.

This morning in praying a prayer of communion, I praised God for being so great and repented for not realizing or recognizing that nearly as much as I should. I prayed prayers of petition for my children; that God would protect them and lead them in their lives and I thanked Him for honoring us with the opportunity to parent them. I prayed for baby Betsy, that she would be healthy and strong. I prayed that God would lay it on our hearts to adopt some day if that's what He asks of us and wants from us.

Wednesday mornings are a very intimate time in the word, in conversation with my husband and in prayer with the Lord.

I'm thankful for Wednesday mornings.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Few Things to Be Excited About...

There are so many things happening in the fall that I am super excited about. The picture above should say a lot about one of them. Here are some of the things listed out and I'm sure as these things begin to play out, you will hear more about them.

1. UT Football season starts in two weeks. This is always such a fun time of year for us because we have season tickets and we also share a really fun tailgate with some of the most fun people in town. (Yes...Wheels and his buddies.) This year should be especially fun if the Horns can live up to the expectations of the many people who have predicted they will play in the National Championship game. This game also happens to land on the day that baby Betsy is scheduled to arrive. Nothing would make me happier than having one of my children born on the same day the Horns win ANOTHER National Championship. (Dad, does this make you proud?)

2. Ava's 4th Birthday. Ava's birthday falls on a Tuesday and we are having her "Princess Birthday Party" at our house on Friday night the 18th. I can't believe that my baby Ava is already four years old. I feel so blessed to be her mother and can't begin to count the many times that girl makes me laugh in a day. On another note, her party actually precedes the UT/Texas Tech revenge game on Saturday the 19th. Nate's dad is in town for that and will be going to the game with my parents. I have a few thoughts on the game as I think back to last year as we watched that game and that last play in complete horror. I think I will just let the game this year speak for itself.

3. Fall. This means cooler weather, cute decorations, school activites, Fall Festivals, pumpkins, hay rides with the kids, pumpkin spice coffee creamer (which my friend Ali Watson and I appreciate more than anyone else), chili on cool nights, pumpkin carving contests and season.

4. Ava starts soccer. Ava has her first soccer game on October 4th. Her games are always on Sunday afternoons, if any of you are interested in coming to watch a bunch of three and four year olds try to play the game of soccer...better watch Wheels, Lucas and Nate try to coach a bunch of three and four year olds to play the game of soccer.

5. Jessica starts volleyball. Jessica has wanted to play volleyball for a while. She is starting on a 5th grade volleyball team at the end of the year and will play games through March. The tournament at the end of the season is held at UT, the last weekend in March. Her favorite teacher at her school, Ms. Shea, is the coach.

6. City Group Leader's Retreat. Nate is responsible for all City Groups at Austin City Life and to thank all of the Leaders for their time and dedication to leading these groups at our Church, he has planned a retreat for the leaders and their wives. We will be staying here and I am pretty excited about it. I LOVE our entire team of leaders and I can't wait to hang out with them, pray with them and celebrate the good things happening in our groups.

7. TX/OU weekend. This weekend last year topped all other football weekends in the season. We start the weekend out at a bash at the Smith's (Wheels' parent's)house in Dallas, on Friday night. This party goes on well into the night and if you're Wheels and his friends, until about an hour before the game. Then, the party starts back up at the fair at about 8am with beer and corn dogs. It's beautiful.

8. Natalie's getting married. This happens in November and I can't wait to see sweet Natalie get married to Ty. What I can wait for is standing up next to all of her 23 year old bridesmaids when I am 7 1/2 months pregnant. I's bad enough that I'm like 10 years older than they are in the first gotta throw in that I'll be the fat pregnant girl up there making all of the pictures ugly. It didn't help that I had to order the bridesmaid dress in a size 12, just hoping it will fit at that time. What does help is that I love the bridesmaid dress and will find someone to take it in to a size 4 (that's right...I'm counting on weight watchers again) when I am back to normal. I WILL wear this dress again!! Thank you, Natalie, for loving me enough to want my pregnant butt in your pictures anyway... I love you too:)

9. Ashley's getting married. This isn't until spring BUT...the parties are starting this fall. I am, once again, a bridesmaid and LOVE my dress for this wedding too (it's all about the dress).

10. Music for the City. This is a Non-Profit that Nate has started and this fall is a majorly important time, as the fundraising begins. Here is the mission statement, in case you are interested in what Music For The City is all about:
MUSIC FOR THE CITY exists to encourage and enable artists to give back to the Austin community by partnering with organizations that are serving our city.
MUSIC FOR THE CITY produces benefit albums and concerts featuring Austin’s best artists. These albums and concerts directly benefit organizations that are serving our community.
MUSIC FOR THE CITY is a win for the entire community. Our artists gain goodwill and an opportunity to give back. The organizations we partner with receive exposure and funding to continue the work they are doing. The city itself benefits from a movement of artists who inspire an entire community to give to those that are serving the great city of Austin, Texas.
We are thrilled to be partnering with two organizations that are tirelessly serving our community. AUSTIN SAFE PLACE is working to end sexual and domestic violence and the AUSTIN CHILDRENS SHELTER is working to provide a safe haven for children in crisis. We are honored to be raising money and awareness for these amazing organizations.
is great music, for a great cause, in a great city.

11. Thanksgiving. I've got two words for Thanksgiving this year: MAN PORCH. I wish I had pictures of the new addition to the Johnson home, where we all celebrate Thanksgiving. Words won't do it justice. Let's just say...outside...HUGE flatscreen tv...outdoor seating...WONDERFUL games...heavenly. On another note for Thanksgiving, I love sharing a Thanksgiving meal with our City Group and I love that during that time of year, people tend to reflect more on the things they are truly thankful for. I wish we did this more often but I'm also glad there is a day designated to us setting time aside to do this. In America, we do have SO much to be thankful for and I am one of those people that forgets that way too often. God has blessed us with so much.

12. Christmas. Oh Christmas, how I love thee. I'm not sure where to even start with Christmas. Maybe I should start with the fact that I've already planned out Christmas decorations for my house this year. Things I love about Christmas: mistletoe, wreaths, cinnamon, Christmas lights, Christmas trees, blow up santa's in the front yard, ornaments, Christmas music, hot apple cider, Christmas movies, Christmas cookies, letters to Santa, holly, carols, shopping for other people, and most of all, remembering and reflecting on God sending his son to earth to live among us and die for us. What a precious gift. And...what an amazing time of year to reflect on that. Oh, I LOVE Christmas!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

It's a Girl (we think)

Nate and I got up this morning at 6:45 and got ready, grabbed a coffee at our usual hangout, Thunderbird, and headed to our Doctor's appointment to find out the sex of this baby.

Now, I think everyone knows that we were sort of pulling for a boy. I mean, Nate really wanted a boy (understandable) and I wanted a boy for Nate's sake. I never spoke these words outloud (for Nate's sake) but I secretly thought it would be cute to have three girls.

Anyway...we got in there and the nurse, Tamra (we LOVE her), immediately started looking for us. First we heard a "Oh! That looks like a little penis!" and then we heard "No, wait. Maybe not. I see three lines." (For those of you who have gone through this, you know what three lines means.) Then we heard "It sure does look like there's something there", followed by a "But gosh...sometimes it just looks like three lines when it turns over." Finally, Tamra said she was just going to get Dr. Cowan because he was much better at telling these things. So he came in and it didn't take him 30 seconds before he announced that he was 90% sure the alien was a girl. I think Nate was in shock...I was sort of excited.

I am giddy over thinking about having three girls and each one of my girls having two sisters. (Plus...I've been looking online and the girl's clothes are SO much cuter!)

I feel blessed today.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New things in the Navarro household...

I am sorry I have been so absent on here...things have been crazy! Here are a few things to catch you up on...

1. We added another member to the Navarro family...Sir Truckstop of Brentwood Austin... aka "Truck". This is Nate's dog and he LOVES him. He is a beautiful puppy and I love that Nate is getting to experience having a puppy from the beginning. He was never a dog person before we is. Everyone, meet Truck.

2. Jessica went to summer camp this last week and LOVED it! She was there for a week and got to horseback ride, kayak, swim, play all sorts of different games and sports, meet a ton of new friends and learn more about Jesus. I could tell when picking her up that she was loved by both campers and counselors. Here are a few pics from her week. Thank you to everyone who wrote her letters!! She had the most mail of anyone else that week!:)

3. We had our first doctor's appointment and I am now almost 4 months along and everything is healty and the baby moves a ton and is "big" as the doctor put it. We have pictures but I'm not real sure how to post those and anyway, they look like aliens at this stage. Not cute.

We are continueing to pray for a healthy pregnancy and baby for the rest of the term.

More on life at the Navarro household coming up!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Community of Rescued People

We had a guest pastor give us a message yesterday on community. As I was listening, some of the things he was saying were sinking in. Today, those things have really resonated with me as I have meditated on them. He talked about how we need each other. How, God didn't design for man to be alone, but to be with others. He talked about how we are a community of rescued people...meaning we desperately needed rescuing (from ourselves). He also talked about how messy community can be, or actually, it is. We hurt each other, we let each other down, we betray each other. I have experienced these things on both ends. My natural reaction is to feel very angry with those who have hurt me and to feel shame and guilt for how I have hurt others. Jesus didn't go to the cross with my sin and other's sin so that I may walk around angry at others or ashamed of myself...he went to the cross with our sins so that I may forgive, and feel forgiven.

I am clinging to the words of my friend Jordan's song today...I'm not sure another song moves me to worship like this one does...

Fullness of God

The very image of the invisible God,
you were here before all creation.
By your hands we were made, and we see you today
through the things your hands hold together.

In you all the fullness of God
was pleased to dwell forever.
Through you we are reconciled
by the blood of your cross.

So we sing to the name above all,
the name of Jesus.
The name by which we are saved.
So we sing to the King above all,
King Jesus.
You are worthy of our praise.
And so we sing, to you.

We were once far away
from the reality of grace.
We were sinners estranged from our Father.
But in love you came, to take away our shame.
To present us as clean sons and daughters.

In you all the fullness of God
was pleased to dwell forever.
Through you we are reconciled
by the blood of your cross.

So we sing to the name above all,
the name of Jesus.
The name by which we are saved.
So we sing to the King above all,
King Jesus.
You are worthy of our praise.
And so we sing, to you.

We'll cling to the hope of glory, proclaimed in all the earth.
We'll cling to the hope of glory, proclaimed in all the earth.
We'll cling to the hope of glory, proclaimed in all the earth.

So we sing to the name above all,
the name of Jesus.
The name by which we are saved.
So we sing to the King above all,
King Jesus.
You are worthy of our praise.
You are worthy of our praise.

I might have butchered the words a little or the arrangement but you should go here and listen:

We might be a messy community but we rely on a perfect God and for that, I'm thankful.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Milestone...out of my first trimester!

I know...I'm a little big for 13 weeks. But...I'm really going to begin exercising this week...swear.

Monday, June 15, 2009

How Sweet the Sound

Austin City Life had their first Baptism this last weekend and it was done in true ACL Barton Springs pool. The busiest place in Austin on a hot summer day. This was no private event at a secluded river spot on some one's land. It was in the middle of Barton Springs, where topless hippies and stoned bystanders watched what was going on. I didn't make it down to the water to actually see the baptism's (I was feeling a little sick) but I heard that people standing around were really wondering what was going on and asking questions. How cool is that?

When the group came back up to our picnic spot and got in a circle to bless all the good food, Jonathan said "we're going to sing the first verse of Amazing Grace and then bless the food." I kind of laughed out loud because I truly thought he was joking about the singing part. But...everyone started in singing the first line of Amazing Grace and I soon realized this was no joke. I began to look around at the people in the circle around me and at the people walking by, staring at all of us, wondering why we were singing. All of the sudden, it hit me how extremely cool this was. We are standing in a huge group, singing Amazing Grace, in the middle of Barton Springs, after two people were just publicly baptized, and there was not a sweeter sound to me. I fell in love again with this community and their boldness.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Now...let's not get all excited. But...

I am a sucker for instant gratification. Is that wrong? I've never been able to figure out why Doctors won't tell you the gender of your baby until you're like 18-20 weeks, when you know that they know at like 12-15. I mean...what evil lies within them that makes them torture us so?

I have been waiting for years for someone to come up with an at-home gender test and low and behold...someone did. Brilliant. NOW...the accuracy rate is only like 92-96% (which seems high but, Nate and I are pretty good with 1% chances, seeing as how Ava was conceived while on birth control) but we thought it'd be fun to kinda know what we're having. THERE'S STILL A CHANCE IT'S WRONG but...

Here is the website for this brilliant invention:

I'm not sure if I'd told anyone what the names are for a girl or boy and I know it's pretty soon to already have those set but...again...I'm all over the instant gratification.

Girl- Betsy Grace (obviously after Gran)
Boy- Jones Everett (Granddad's middle name)

So for right now...until the Dr. says he sees a penis or vagina...we've got a little Jones Everett Navarro on our hands!

Monday, June 8, 2009

I'm going to rip off someone else's blog...

I have caught on to some really great blogs and this is absolutely one of my favorites...I believe this girl was meant to be a friend of mine. I just haven't figured out how that's possible with her living in California but I'm pretty positive that somehow, we'll meet some day and be best friends.

She has had some really great posts and I think you'll find them much more interesting than anything I could say today...

Please read the post "Christians Behaving Badly". It's great and leads you to other blogs of really great people living out the meaning of Christ's love.

Friday, May 29, 2009

My Husband's Birthday Today

Today is the day that, 34 years ago, Nate Navarro was born into this world. That might top my list of things I am most thankful for.

Here are 34 things about Nate that make him, well, Nate:

1. He is kind
2. He is humble
3. He loves the Lord
4. He is gentle
5. He is an amazing father
6. He is a great leader, in our family and in our Church
7. He is a natural at drawing people into community
8. He listens to you when you talk to him
9. He has a HUGE heart
10. He loves Texas Football
11. He is sensitive
12. He is a walking example of God's grace, which encourages a lot of people
13. He likes Mexican food
14. He is serious about his job
15. He is good at leading people into worship
16. He writes good sad songs
17. He is a good friend to his friends
18. He is funny when he's not trying to be
19. He's scared of bugs (roaches, to be exact)
20. He likes good wine (well...he likes cheap wine too)
21. He couldn't care less about material things
22. He has a soft touch (this is not sexual...this came from Geoff and Luke when playing the bean bag game)
23. He is great at saying "thank you"
24. He's even better at saying "I'm sorry"
25. He has a great laugh
26. He is a gentle disciplinarian with the girls
27. My parent's think he is the best son-in-law in the world, despite my dad's speech at the wedding
28. He has a gift of being able to relate to people
29. He has a MAJOR sweet tooth (his weakness is chocolate chip cookies)
30. He loves Pete Yorn
31. He is the most unselfish person I've ever met
32. He is addicted to Thunderbird coffee
33. He is just really freakin cool
34. He doesn't realize that he's just really freakin cool

Happy Birthday Nate...I love you!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Repeat Offender

This Sunday at ACL, we talked about the gospel and justification. It was a powerful message.

We, as Christians, make it so difficult sometimes. We try so hard to get right with God by following rules and being "good". We trust in ourselves to get us there, all the while getting so frustrated with ourselves that while following all of the rules and trying so hard to be good...we're still not good. Here's the catch: we fall in love with Jesus first, we rely on him, we meditate on him...the righteousness follows. We want to be missional. We want to love our neighbors. We want to follow God. We want to look like Jesus. And...we begin to.'s so simple. Jesus.

Yet...I am a repeat offender in pride, jealousy, gossip, lust, acceptance in what others think of me, etc. The grace in it for me is that I even get the opportunity to change these things in my life. By the grace of God, these traits become less of an issue in my life. They creep up from time to time, but I see much, much less of them. I attribute this to falling in love with Jesus and therefore, seeing him begin to change my heart. I feel myself wanting to do things, not to follow some rule, but because I love Jesus.

I am beginning to find perfect acceptance, love and justification through faith in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Creative Vegetarian Diet

So, I have been a vegetarian for 5 months now. Or at least, up until taking a bite of Green's sausage the other night. Before that...not one bite of meat in 5 months. Now that I am pregnant...I've been thinking...maybe I shouldn't be depriving this child of meat. Maybe he is going to be the next quarterback at UT. Maybe good thoroughbred quarterbacks need meat. Maybe this is all just selfish of me. For those vegetarians reading this who are thinking "you traitor. you are weak.", please understand that the smell of Green's sausage is like Satan on a vegetarian's shoulder. I smelled it as my entire family (Matt, Jessica, Ava and Nate) ate it in my living room and Satan told me I wanted a bite and I gave in to temptation and ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

I have a friend who once was a vegetarian except ate sausage and bacon:). I think I might try that out. Totally for the baby's sake, of course. This is all for the baby.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day Weekend

I had the best weekend for Mother's Day. Matt grilled out Friday night and had friends over and the girls love it when there are a bunch of people at the house like that. They were both up playing washers with the guys until like 1am! I have some little partyers on my hands!

Saturday morning we woke up...I went on a nice walk and came home to get ready for the UT baseball game. Dad got us all tickets in his friend's suite and we had a blast. Air conditioning, food, beer, pictures with BEVO and a series win against the Aggies (doesn't get much better than that:)

Saturday night we took the girls to House Pizzeria and afterwards bowling at Dart Bowl. We rarely do "just family" nights but when we do, it's such precious time with each other and the kids. Makes me want to do it way more.

Sunday, we learned about the gospel from Jonathan and reflected on what the cross means in our lives. The cross means so much to me in so many different ways and so this was a great message for me to hear because I forget sometimes and need to be reminded. The music was great and led me into a great time of worship and reflection.

After Church, my Mom, Gran and Dad came to the house and we ate a good 'ol Southern lunch: smoked turkey, homemade potato salad, corn on the cob, baked beans, buttered bread and three choices for dessert (apple pie, blueberry pie and chess pie).

This was such a great weekend for me...time to enjoy my family, reflect on the cross and what Jesus has done in my life, and think about my role as a mother to Jessica and Ava and baby #3!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


So every week I get an email from, which I'm sure is old hat to most of you but, I've never subscribed with my other pregnancy's.

It is blowing my mind to read how this baby is forming. It is the most amazing miracle.

How your baby's growing:
Deep in your uterus your embryo is growing at a furious pace. At this point, he's about the size of a sesame seed, and he looks more like a tiny tadpole than a human. He's now made up of three layers — the ectoderm, the mesoderm, and the endoderm — which will later form all of his organs and tissues.

The neural tube — from which your baby's brain, spinal cord, nerves, and backbone will sprout — is starting to develop in the top layer, called the ectoderm. This layer will also give rise to his skin, hair, nails, mammary and sweat glands, and tooth enamel.

His heart and circulatory system begin to form in the middle layer, or mesoderm. (This week, in fact, his tiny heart begins to divide into chambers and beat and pump blood.) The mesoderm will also form your baby's muscles, cartilage, bone, and subcutaneous (under skin) tissue.

The third layer, or endoderm, will house his lungs, intestines, and rudimentary urinary system, as well as his thyroid, liver, and pancreas. In the meantime, the primitive placenta and umbilical cord, which deliver nourishment and oxygen to your baby, are already on the job.

Anyway...I am just getting my mind blown...this is amazing! My baby's heart starts beating this week and the brain starts developing!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mid Year Resolutions...

I have been thinking lately about how the gospel affects EVERY area of our lives. Some of my life is "all good and cleaned up" and some of it is just messy. Like, literally...messy. Chaotic. Unorganized. A plethora of mess.

I don't spend my time wisely at home and I don't give my kids the attention they need at night and in the mornings. I am completely content sticking them in front of the TV or at the computer to play games so that I can unwind for the day. They don't get baths every night and half the time we can't find anything for them to wear in the mornings because I haven't had time to do laundry. So...since I haven't had time to do laundry, that stack is piling up on the stack from last week which was really from two weeks ago. Get my drift? My bedroom closet is microscopic so the clothes I don't have room for are in a stack on the beautiful red velvet chair that no one ever gets to see...because of the clothes stacked on top of it. I don't have room in my kitchen for a junk drawer and so there are nick knacks stuffed in every drawer in the house. Our laundry room has had a revolving stack of laundry in the basket since we moved in. And...on and on.

How would the gospel address this? I don't really know the answer to that yet but...I know some practical things I want to do to get "cleaned up". This is going to literally be a life-change but I am committed to doing it.

1. Weekend projects starting this weekend and continuing until I have finished every room in the house. Starting with our bedroom. I to bottom...every single room. (Except for Matt's) Then, keeping that maintained so that I don't get behind again.

2. Going to bed early and getting good rest.

3. Getting up early to work out, read the word with Nate, make the girls breakfast and pack their lunches.

4. Tidy up every night.

5. Wash dishes after every meal.

6. Do laundry every Saturday.

7. Go through the girl's back packs every day so that I know what is going on at their schools.

8. Have nightly prayer time with the girls when we tuck them in.

9. Clean up the front and back yards.

10. Make Sunday a day of rest with my family.

11. Clean out my car and keep it clean.

I know that it is not realistic to think that all of this will be done perfectly, every day because I am only human and I work all day long BUT...I need some organization. I don't need a schedule (they drive me crazy because you are then confined to that schedule every day.) I just need my life to be a little more organized. I'm praying that God gives me strength to ease into this new lifestyle.

I mean...if Jesus showed up right now at my house...he'd have to sit on a pile of laundry on my couch!

I'm looking forward to this new way of living!!

(if any of you have any suggestions, advice, organization tips, etc...bring 'em on!)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

5th Addition to the Navarro Family...

So...I know this is SO early but...we are adding another Navarro at the end of December/beginning of January. I am about 5 or 6 weeks pregnant and we tried to keep it a secret but...the secret's out(Mom)! No, not really. We told a "few" people and our city group and it spread like wildfire. I think I might have had 4 people come up to me at Church on Sunday and say "I heard a little secret"...

So...we are just going to go with it and announce that baby Navarro will be here in close to 34 weeks.

Ava and Jessica are really took Jess a little longer to get excited but knowing that she is moving over to the other side of the house and will have her own bedroom, living room and bathroom has sealed the deal:)

The reason for the picture is that I took a couple of tests a couple of weeks ago that had a VERY faint positive line on it and so neither one of us were willing to believe I was REALLY pregnant. So, I gave in and bought the (more expensive), digital test and it was a big fat digital YES+.

We are really excited and will continue to post updates on baby Navarro for the next 34 weeks.

I've thought about posting a picture of my stomach and ankles every week for the next 34 weeks...I might also consider keeping my dignity though. We'll see.

Our Bedroom Needs Some Lovin'

This is going to be incredibly boring to those of you who get on here to read my super deep, intellectual, wise thoughts on life in general. This is a decorating post...intended for the girls.

I'm not sure if any of you are this same way but...our bedroom is the last place in the house to get any love in cleaning or decorating. It's more important to keep the areas in the house most frequented...clean and tidy and spruced up. That would be our living room, kitchen and bathroom. These are the rooms where guests hang out the most. So...they are decorated and clean (some of the time, at least). Our bedroom, on the otherhand, doesn't have one thing on the wall and has had an old comforter on it, whose stuffing is lopsided, for the last two years.

So...I ordered new bedding from Target and am super excited about it! Here it is:

The other project for my room is already half completed. Here it is:

I already have all of the prints for the photo wall. They were all taken by Jen Cota and I ordered them just like these photos: some black and white and some color and with the same affect on the photo. The affect is called "through the lens" because it looks like it was taken with an old camera and like you're looking through the lens (hence, the name "through the lens"). All I'm needing now are the frames. This will require a trip to Ikea, which I'm planning on doing this Saturday.

The last thing I'm going to do is spruce up the nightstand (which right now has books and dust and an empty cup on it). It will look something like this:

I'm looking so forward to our "new" room!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sweet Time with Neighbors

Last night we had all of our neighbors over for pizza and beer and it was such a sweet time of community and building of friendships.

Nate and I have been planning to do that for a while and just finally got around to it. I honestly would never have made the move to walk over and invite all of them over but Nate and the girls made invitations and I walked with the girls over to each house and we put them in the mailboxes. The girls were really excited about it.

So, last night as I was driving home, I started to get nervous that it was going to be an awkward time of people getting to know each other and not having much in common and leaving, not having had a good time. Quite the opposite happened, actually.

We had the neighbors on either side of us and the two houses across the street. There were not two people in the house who were similar in looks or interests and it was the coolest thing to see these people getting to know each other and become friends. They actually all really got along and left saying..."let's do this at our house in 2 weeks. Same people, same time. We'd love to grill for all of you." What a sweet moment for me. I loved that there were people sitting in my living room who have lived two houses from each other for over five years and were just learning each other's names. One of the girls across the street plays the guitar and writes songs and sang for us a bit (she and Nate took turns) on the front porch. (So, I guess there were two people who had something in common...Nate and the neighbor, Shelly, who are both musicians.) She helped Ava write and sing a song about our dog, Jenna.

I am thankful for my husband who pushes me to step out of my comfort zone to do things like this. Everyone who came last night thanked us over and over for putting that together and everyone left with 10 more friends than they came with. I could tell how much it meant to them that we would take the time to do it.

It encourages me to see how living missionally, in even just my own neighborhood, affects people.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Austin City Life

I promise this isn't intended to be a cheesy plug for my Church. I just want to talk for a minute about how this Church, this community, has changed my life.

Nate and I started attending ACL back in September of 2007. We were still living in Belton and Nate attended more than me. He would drive down to Austin on Tuesday nights and lead worship in the Dodson's living room...filled with about 8 people. Maybe 10. I could tell that he was really being affected by this small group of people and it kept him driving back and forth every week. I kept myself sort of removed for a while because A)we lived in Belton and I had a full time job and not much time to drive to Austin and back and B)I felt I had already found my Church home at The Vista in Belton. The Vista will ALWAYS hold a special place in me because I feel that I was first introduced to a community who extended grace to messy people, all along, wanting to help them grow. Anyway...Nate came to me at some point and said "I want to move to Austin and be a part of Austin City Life. I believe in their vision, what they're doing and this guy Jonathan who God is using to carry it all out." I said ok, and we moved.

We are now over a year and a half into ACL and I've never grown more spiritually and relationally in my life. I am learning truly what the gospel means. I am learning what Jesus taught. I am learning how Jesus' teachings play out in real life. I am learning to love my neighbors ( real neighbors). I am learning how to be missional in EVERY aspect of my life. I am learning true forgiveness. I am learning true repentance. I have become more prayerful. I am learning how to glorify God in the way I am a mother, friend, wife, sister, daughter. I am still SO far off on perfecting these things. I never will. But by God's grace...I get to try.

Thanks Austin City Life for what you have meant to the Navarro family. Thank you for following Jesus with us and teaching us along the way. I am so thankful for you.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Please check out to find out different ways to be eco friendly and help reserve our planet that god blessed us with!

You should also check out The Earth movie trailor here:
I am taking the girls to see this!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I totally stole this. But I loved it.

Call It Grace

Being made right with God by his grace, we could have the hope of receiving the life that never ends. Titus 3:7 (NCV)

You may be decent. You may pay taxes and kiss your kids and sleep with a clean conscience. But apart from Christ you aren't holy. So how can you go to heaven?

Only believe. Accept the work already done, the work of Jesus on the cross.

Accept the goodness of Jesus Christ. Abandon your own works and accept his. Abandon your own decency and accept his. Stand before God in his name, not yours.

It's that easy? There was nothing easy about it at all. The cross was heavy, the blood was real, and the price was extravagant. It would have bankrupted you or me, so he paid it for us. Call it simple. Call it a gift. But don't call it easy.

Call it what it is. Call it grace.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Easter is a beautiful day for those who profess to be Christians. It is the day that Jesus Christ died on the cross, taking our sins with him.

When we sin or mess up (in dumbed up terms), it is sometimes hard for us to forgive ourselves and also hard to forgive people we feel have sinned against us. I reminded myself on Sunday, in remembering that Jesus died for our sins, that to not forgive ourselves, accept forgiveness, or forgive others, must be heartbreaking to God. He sacrificed his Son so that we could, and would, extend forgiveness to each other and accept forgiveness from God and those we have sinned against.

I am so thankful for the cross, for Jesus, and for forgiveness and grace.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dorcas Acquah

Dorcas is the little girl in Ghana that our family sponsors through Compassion International. I would really really encourage you to do this. Sponsoring a child is not something you do for your kid's affects all of us. You're never too old or too young or too busy to sponsor a child. It helps a child in another country receive education and water and food and clothing. She wrote our family a letter this week...

"Dear The Navarro's,

I am happy to thank you for taking me as your sponsored child. I attend Rhema Prepatory School. I am in KG2. I live with my mother who sells tomatoes in the market. I am six years of age.

I also live with my two elder siblings, Bright and Emmanuel. My best friend is Lydia Sacky and I learn with her always. I like rice and stew. What is your favorite food?

Pray for me to get good knowledge.


We have a picture of Dorcas on our refrigerator and are so excited to send her letters back and even some fun books to read!

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Prodigal Sons

This was actually a devotional sent to me by my mom and I've heard a similar message, spoken by my pastor, on this topic of the other son in the prodigal son story in the Bible.

Today's Truth
"For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found,' so they began to celebrate" (NIV).

Perhaps one of the most memorable and heart touching stories of grace and forgiveness is recorded in Luke chapter fifteen. It's what we've come to know as the story of the Prodigal son. This young man demanded his inheritance while his father was still alive, spent it all on riotous living, and found himself dirty, destitute, and despairing. As despicable as pigs were to Jews, this young man took a job taking care of pigs and eating their food just to stay alive. Then he had an epiphany. He came to his senses.
"How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death. I will set out and go back to my father and say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' So he got up and went to his father (Luke 15:17-20).'"
And where was his father? He was panning the horizon, hoping for a sign that his boy might return home. While "he was still a long way off," the father spotted his son on the horizon. Filled with compassion, he picked up the edges of his robe and ran. He didn't wait for his son to come to him, grovel at his feet, and beg for forgiveness. No, as soon as the father caught a glimpse of his son, he dashed toward his boy, smothered him with kisses, and welcomed him home.
If you remember, not everyone was happy when the prodigal son returned. His big brother resented the fact that he got another chance. And you know what? There will be those who resent the fact that we get another chance as well.
"Big brother won't mind if you come back as long as you hang your head and wear your shame. But when God has the audacity to give you a little dignity back and you dare lift your radiant face to heaven in liberated praise, big brother may be appalled! Pride can't celebrate with a prodigal-come-home. Folks who won't celebrate are still kidding themselves into thinking they did something right to be loved by their Father." (Beth Moore, When Godly People do Ungodly Things, (Nashville, TN: Lifeway Press, 2003), p. 145.)
I say, let him be appalled. Nothing makes some people angrier than grace. Big brother is invited to the party too, and it's his decision whether or not he wants to join in the celebration. I'm just glad he's not the one in charge.

I feel forever indebted to grace in my life, yet Jesus already paid that price.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Far from God

I'm not sure if any of you have felt this way before but as I have become more intimate in my relationship with God, it becomes more obvious when I feel distant from Him or can't feel His presence.

For the last two weeks, I have felt very distant from God. I felt distracted when I prayed. I didn't really have anything I wanted to talk about or pray about. I wasn't getting anything out of the messages at Church, or really even the music. I recognized that this was going on and began to pray that God would draw near to me, as I was having a hard time drawing near to Him. Still...nothing. I finally gave up and almost stopped caring, confused as to why this was happening. Did I do something wrong? Is God mad at me? Is there something I need to confess? Is He trying to tell me something?

I talked with Nate about it a few days ago and he prayed with me and recommended that I read the Psalms. Where David (a man after God's own heart) is crying out to God, asking Him why He isn't answering David when he calls out to Him. If David, a man after God's own heart, feels far from God at times, will we not feel the same at some point?

I ignored Nate's recommendation. Until this morning. I opened Psalms up to chapter 13. This is what it says:

Psalms 13: How Long O Lord?

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep
the sleep of death, lest my enemies say, "I have prevailed over him,"
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice
in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation! I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me! Wow...this moved me. My mind is flooded with the many many many ways the Lord has dealt bountifully with me. With my marriage. With my children. With my relationships. With my ACL family. He has dealt bountifully with me. His love for me is steadfast!

I am at my desk at work crying while writing this. My co-workers are going to call the "mad-house" to come pick me up. (Lord, please don't let that happen.)

Let this be a reminder that when God's voice falls silent in our lives, He has gone nowhere. He is still right there. Pick up your Bible, read it, meditate on the ways he has dealt bountifully with you and thank Him.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Nails for Christ

Nate and I met with a couple last night at Thunderbird Coffee, our home away from home. They have started a non-profit called Nails for Christ and met with us to tell us what they were about, how they got started and how we could help. I left very excited.

I'll try not to butcher the story of how they got started but my attention span during our meeting was short lived, due to Ava climbing all over me.

It started out with Heather Cain's father, who, three years ago built a house for a family in Puerto Penasco. The next year, his daughter Heather and her husband Ryan, joined him. This last Christmas, her whole family(15 of them), spent their Christmas in Puerto Penasco building a house for a family in need. They are taking a group in May to do a build and another group in August. The Navarro's are going to be part of the group going in August!

What they need at this point is obviously financial contributions and volunteers. Nate and I are so excited to be a part! We have so many ideas of how to help them raise money. Nate wants to throw a benefit concert and we also plan on having a party at our house to introduce people to the organization and also to help raise money.

Please watch the slideshow and let me know if you have any interest in giving or volunteering.

More on this later as we start to learn more about the organization and get ready to go help in August!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Coming Out of the Cage of Guilt

The passage today was good for me to read...considering there are many times I think back to mistakes and sinful behavior I've given in to and think that I'm not qualified to be doing things "in the name of God". There are people in this world who probably think that is a complete insult to God himself. Nate and I have actually had people tell us we are not qualified for ministry. Understandably so. However, God says something different.

"The moment we confess our sin to God, our sin is forgiven and forgotten. But for most of us, it is far easier to accept God's forgiveness than to forgive ourselves. Why? Because we can forgive, but unlike God, we cannot forget. If we don't allow the grace of God to saturate and sanctify our sinful memories, we continue to experience false guilt over confessed sin. We become so fixated on past mistakes that we forfeit future opportunities. We mistakenly think our mistakes disqualify us from being used by God. And our feelings of guilt become the cage that keeps us from chasing the Wild Goose.

Whether you are experiencing true guilt that is a by-product of unconfessed sin or false guilt that is the by-product of confessed sin, both forms of guilt dull your spiritual sense of adventure. And you won't be able to chase the Wild Goose until you get past your guilty feelings. The good news is that there is forgiveness and freedom because of what Christ accomplished on the cross. And if you receive His grace, it will not only recondition your spiritual reflexes, it will transform your life."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Another Passage Captured Me...

Chapter 2: Goose Bumps


Nehemiah mourned and wept when finding out that the Jews, brought out of captivity from Babylon, were in huge trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem had been torn down and the gates destroyed by fires. They were defenseless against their enemies. Nehemiah was extremely unqualified to do anything to help them.

"Nehemiah had no architectural training on his transcript and no construction experience on his resume. And as far as we know, he had never even been to Jerusalem. He was severely unqualified to pursue this passion. A cupbearer rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem is pretty laughable when you think about it. Most God-ordained passions are.

It was about as laughable as a farmer named Noah building an ark, a shepherd named David fighting a Philistine giant, or a murderer named Paul writing the second half of the New Testament.

When it comes to doing the will of God, God-ordained passions are far more important than any human qualification we can bring to the table. In fact, God often uses us at our point of greatest incompetence. That way He gets all the credit."

Bear with me here...this is long.

I received this book in the mail yesterday from a dear friend for my birthday. I started reading it today and already love it. I am only on the first chapter and I expect that there will be many more entries as I continue to read but this one really struck me today. It's long...but great.

Chapter 1: Yawning Angels


"I love the church. I bleed the church. And I'm not saying that the way the church cages people is intentional. In fact, it may be well intentioned. But too often we take people out of their natural habitat and try to tame them in the name of Christ. We try to remove the risk. We try to remove the danger. We try to remove the struggle. And what we end up with is a caged Christian.

Deep down inside, all of us long for more. Sure, the tamed part of us grows accustomed to the safety of the cage. But the untamed part longs for some danger, some challenge, some adventure. And at some point in our spiritual journey, the cage no longer satisfies. We have a primal longing to be uncaged. And the cage opens when we recognize that Jesus died to make us dangerous.

Praying for protection is fine. I pray for a hedge of protection around my three children all the time. You probably pray that kind of prayer too. But when was the last time you asked God to make you dangerous?

I would like to think that when I pronounce the benediction at the end of our church services, I am sending dangerous people back into their natural habitat to wreak havoc on the Enemy.


Every once in a while, I have random thoughts that seem to come out of nowhere. Here's a thought that fired across my synapses not long ago: Do angels yawn?

I know it seems like an inane theological question, but I seriously wonder if angels have the capacity to get bored. More important, I wonder if some of us are living such safe lives that not only are we bored, but so are our guardian angels. If they could, would our guardian angels coax us out of our cage and beg us to give them something to do?

I think of Ana Luisa, who used her award mile to fly to India and sacrificially serve some of the poorest of the poor at a medical clinic. I think of Mike, who started a dangerous ministry in a dangerous place-a porn show in Las Vegas. I think of Adam, whose sensitivity to the Wild Goose resulted in a life-changing encounter on a mission trip half a world away. And I think of Becky, who made a conscious decision to endanger her own life by becoming part of the crusade against human trafficking.

Since when did it become safe to follow Christ? Maybe it's time to come out of the cage and live dangerously for the cause of Christ."

This was a challenging passage for me today as I have struggled with stepping out of my cage and living dangerously for the cause of Christ. Most of us are so comfortable living in our nice houses, wearing our nice clothes, reading our Bible every day, saying our prayers, titheing the correct amount to our Church. Is this really getting out of our cage and living dangerously for God?

I urge you to step out of the cage today. I'm not saying everyone has the gift of being missional and needs to sell all of their posessions and move to Africa to do mission work. We all have different gifts. Are you using yours? Take in a foster child. Adopt a child that has no home. Lead a small group. Feed the homeless. Cook dinner for someone in need. Help someone pay a bill. Grab a coffee with someone who probably doesn't have anyone in their life wanting to get coffee with them. Give away clothes. Visit a homeless shelter and love on those people. Take Easter treats to a Retirement Center close by and give them away to the residents. Sponsor a child from Compassion International. Write them letters, send them care packages and love them because Jesus loves you.

I think God asks us to step out of our comfort zones and actually DO something to glorify Him.

How are you stepping out of your cage today? I know I have a lot to think about as I don't step out of mine near enough!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My Birthday

This is not an announcement that it's my birthday. It's about a few thoughts I had today, on my birthday.

I thought back this morning on so many of my past birthdays. I can remember my birthdays all the way back to like middle school. I was thinking about different things that were important to me on each birthday.

I'm sure in middle school I was concerned about being popular and having cute clothes and worrying about what boys liked me, hoping that at least a few did. I remember thinking I was super cool because I was part of the "elite" class...the cheerleaders. I remember it being SO important that people like me, think I'm pretty and think I'm popular.

In high school a lot of that was still important to me but I was also very concerned with my "social life". I was, I'm sure, at every party anyone at Temple High School had. I loved the feeling that sometimes I might have been the "life of the party". It gave me comfort and security. (a false comfort and security).

I have had some really great, fun birthdays, filled with people that I love and that love me. I have also had some rough birthdays. Today I feel blessed to have had both.

The things that are important to me now are so key in life. My family, my amazing husband and beautifully sweet daughters, my friends (so many that I have had since even elementary school), my Church family, my City Group, my beliefs, my job, my co-workers and absolutely most of growing relationship with Jesus. I am thankful for today. I am thankful for every birthday that I get to get up, be with my family and try to live my life to glorify Christ.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Matthew 10

This morning,Nate and I read Matthew 10 together. There was one passage that really stood out to me and led me into a day of prayer that I would "lose my life" for God's sake and in turn, really truly find it. Lose my life in a sense that I lose what part of my life I find comfort and security and value in that is not from God.

The passage was this...Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Here it is...

I am officially a brunette. A dark brunette. I know this is a shoddy picture as far as showing my actual hair but it at least gives you an idea of the color. I'll make Nate do a photo shoot of sorts to show you up close. Why I think you give a rip, I'm not sure.

I'm loving it so far...and I just made a donation of the difference to Compassion International.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Get used to it...

The hair color, I mean. On Friday, at 3:30pm, I will officially be a brunette. Don't try to talk me out of it...I've already made up my mind.

My reason for the picture and the blog post is so that you will be prepared so that when you see me next, I don't get looks of "holy crap, what the @*#^% did you do to your hair?". I don't need looks like that, k? I'm nervous enough already!

I walked out of the salon about a month ago and thought to myself "Never doing that again. I'm done. No more spending over $100 on my stupid hair. I can't write blogs about caring about people's needs and the fact that there are people who don't have beds to sleep in or shoes to wear or food to eat and then go drop $200 or more on my hair. I'm done. Finished." I was so annoyed with myself when I walked out of the salon that day!

I'm sure you're asking yourself, "What does it matter if you cut down on the cost of your hair if you're not going to do anything with that extra money to help people?" Well...I am. I am going to take the difference every 8 weeks and give it to a group called Compassion International.'s to brunettes having as much fun as blondes!

Monday, February 23, 2009

What a weekend...

I've already bragged about family/movie night on Friday but I have to include that again on this blog.

This weekend was such a fun, relaxing weekend and I wasn't ready for it to end this morning.

Friday night...3 movies starting at 5:30 pm and ending when we fell asleep. Bekah would be so proud...I stayed up for two and a half of them (Bekah is my childhood friend who would bring movies over and I'd be asleep 10 minutes into it and I think she labeled me as the "worst person ever to watch movies with").

Saturday I got up and had breafast at El Chilito with my friend Miranda. We are in a "fight club" together. You can read about fight clubs here: It was a beautiful day and we sat on the patio and read the word together but mainly, just talked about life...where we struggle, where we succeed, what God is doing in our lives right now, how we can pray for each other. It's awesome.

Saturday night, we got a babysitter and had the ultimate privilege of going to dinner and hanging out with our friends Wheels and Melissa. Always makes for a fun night. We ate at Vivo and then headed over to the Flying Saucer and had a beer or two.

Sunday morning we went to the Hideout for our last Sunday service there. It was bittersweet leaving the Hideout. The Hideout has been a huge part of Austin City Life's story and it has been a place where I have grown hugely in my faith. I hate to leave the cozy, quaint environment the Hideout provided but I am really excited about growing my faith more and hearing about Jesus more in this place called the Parish.

Sunday night we had a prayer and worship night at The Parish. It was powerful. God truly showed up. We prayed for each other, the Church and the city of Austin. I feel so blessed too, to have the talent we do in our Church as far as worship leading. It blows my mind.

Then, of course, people came over for the Oscars.

Today starts a new's to another week of trying to follow Jesus as best I can.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I'm on a roll today...two posts in one day.

The kids are asleep and Nate and I are on our third movie of the night...this is awesome!!

Family Night

Tonight is family night. What that means is that we will actually all be home as a family tonight, without any plans, which is always nice.

Our weeks are so packed with things going, kids, fight clubs, Sunday mornings at the Hideout (soon-to-be the Parish), Sunday Night Dinners, Lost, American Idol, Monday nights at the Gingerman, worship rehearsal...and most of these things are done in community with other people and sometimes lots of other people. The Navarros LOVE that but there is something special about a night at home with nothing but time to love on the kids.

I think tonight we'll grill out and then make a comfy pallet on the floor and watch a movie.

So excited.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Brentwood City Group Mission

I really struggle with the tension between Matthew 5 and 6 when talking on my blog about missional work we are doing with our Church/City Group. Matthew 5 says to let your light shine before men so that they might see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven. Matthew 6, on the other hand, says to be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

I think Jesus is mainly addressing the "heart" of the matter, which would be motive. Is my motive in updating my blog to receive praise and applause for the good our City Group is doing, or, is it to lead by example in what Jesus asks of us and point all glory to Christ? I pray it's the latter of the two.

City Groups at Austin City Life are to be the Church to our neighborhood. The City Groups are broken up as such (by neighborhood) and once a month we do a missional project in that neighborhood. We live in Brentwood and so we focus on this neighborhood in Austin.

Last night we visited a retirement center on Burnet Rd. and Justin Ln. We took them Valentines cards and Nate played the guitar for them. They loved it. They loved that the kids were there, loved the music, and loved telling us stories of their childhood and early adulthood. They just needed to be loved on. They talked about their children, their past jobs, where they grew up, their neices and nephews. It felt good to meet them and love on them. We plan on going back once a month and trying to be a consistent presence to them.

Here are some pictures from the night: